Tag Archive for ‘IBM’
China’s extensive state censorship is just one example of the challenges that companies frequently confront when doing business globally. In an excerpt from his new book, former GE legal counsel Ben W. Heineman, Jr. examines the “recurrent dilemma” confronting businesses when a corporation’s global ethical standards collide with national law.
Boeing and IBM were among the large employers in South Carolina calling for the Confederate Flag to end its reign over the state capital last week. They are among a larger group of companies increasingly speaking out on issues such as anti-gay discrimination, immigration and race relations. Columnist Gael O’Brien offers thoughts on what’s driving the trend – social conscience or self-interest – and whether it matters.
Corporate governance activist Robert AG Monks argues that American corporations today are like the great European monarchies of long ago. “Corporations have effectively captured the United States: its judiciary, its political system, and its national wealth, without assuming any of the responsibilities of dominion,” he writes. “Evidence is everywhere.”
Individual responsibility aside, the creation and management of more efficient data centers by the major online hubs is what can have the biggest impact. Google, Facebook, and Amazon.com are already deeply committed to the cloud computing model, with Microsoft, Yahoo and others following suit accordingly.
Columnist Gael O’Brien speaks with Joel Kurtzman about corporate culture, CEO leadership and the concept of a common-purpose organization. “It is difficult for a company to keep a sense of common purpose for longer than a decade,” he says. “It has to be nurtured or it goes away.” One company that has succeeded: American Express.
A group of investment organizations with about $43 billion in assets under management has sent letters to 35 major companies represented on the board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, urging company managements “to evaluate their role and to assess the risks and benefits of Board membership.”
Many leading companies strive to follow best practices in corporate governance, demonstrating responsiveness to investors and protecting shareowner value in the process. Paradoxically – argues a leading socially responsible investment executive – some of these same companies often appear to leave their commitment to corporate governance at the doorstep when they serve on the board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The co-founder of Seventh Generation argues that “when companies shift their value proposition from selling desirable products to solving difficult social and environmental problems, whole new opportunities arise.”
If you’re one of the many trying to determine where blame might lie for the financial and economic crises of the last two years, John Gillespie and David Zweig would suggest you look in the corporate boardroom. Their new book – “Money for Nothing: How the Failure of Corporate Boards Is Ruining American Business and Costing Us Trillions” – is rich with unfortunate detail.
The old political and business adage holds that “information is power.” But information may also be one of the keys to successful corporate social responsibility – which has become a “strategic objective” for business leaders worldwide, according to a new survey conducted by computer services giant IBM.